Spring will come.

It froze last week.

The kind of hard freeze that smells like firewood and icicles.

We wrapped the pipes in old rags in the moonlight and covered the heavy-potted patio plants with a big sheet. But still, most of our green has turned yellow and then brown — and has wilted, shriveled, hardened.

I stood by my boy who stood by our sad-looking asparagus fern the next morning and told him: It’ll come back.

It always does.

The winter has her bite, but if the plants have strong roots and nourishing soil, they come back just as strong and pretty and full as before — even more so. They’re not gone forever.

God has a beautiful way of revealing truth to us through nature. His seasons of bare branches and budding leaves, dormancy and blossoming, remind us of the seasons of our own lives — the winters and the inevitable Springs.

Spring will come. It always does.

When I look at the winter seasons of my life — the ones that metaphorically rocked me, shocked me, left me feeling a bit bare — I recognize that it was in those times, that I grew back even stronger.

The times of testing, though hard, are purifying.

They are like a forest fire that rages through the underbrush, ridding the overgrown forest of decay, clearing way for more sunlight, encouraging the growth of wild flowers.

And so, as the fire does for the forest, God does for us.

He clears out our weeds to make room for his light. And in it, we blossom. It is in these times — and often only through retrospect that we realize: had we never felt the fire, we would have never been able to bloom like a golden field of daffodils.

In a month or so, we’ll cut off the dead foliage of our garden plants to the roots.

Day by day, we’ll watch the green grow fuller and thicker. We’ll watch the flowers peek with tiny petals. We’ll barely remember the dreary days of barren branches — for all we’ll see is the beauty of life made new. We’ll admire the Spring with a glass of iced tea. We’ll feel the warm sunlight on our skin.

If you are in a season of winter — so it is with you.

Spring will come. It always does.

“It is very often the case that just when the soul believes itself lost that it gains and profits the most.” — St. John of the Cross

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